Cricket Australia rejects TV influence over team pick

Updated: June 20, 2013, 8:16 AM IST
Cricket Australia rejects TV influence over team pick

Sydney: Cricket Australia has dismissed suggestions from executives at Channel Nine that the network should have a say in team selection under its new lucrative five-year broadcast deal.

Nine managing director Jeff Browne told a business lunch on Wednesday the network needed the best players on the field all the time to maintain ratings, making clear it had concerns over CA's rotation policy last summer.

"I understand why sports want to do that, but people at home want to see the best players playing and we urge Cricket Australia to pick the best players every time ... we've got to have the best players on the paddock to rate," Browne said.

"I think we've got a better understanding on that," he added.

"Last year that balance was skewed too much in favour of resting some players so from now on there will be a lot more discussion between CA and the broadcaster about that."

But CA chief James Sutherland quickly dismissed any suggestion that the broadcaster would have direct input or even influence over selections.

"Cricket has a long-standing and successful relationship with the Nine Network but team selections and scheduling are matters for Cricket Australia," he said in a statement late Wednesday.

"The national selection panel selects the Australian teams. With the volume of international cricket being played, it will continue to be necessary for us to manage player workloads appropriately.

"We'll continue to consult with our broadcasters on scheduling issues," he added. Channel Nine, featuring veteran commentator Richie Benaud, signed a Aus$450 million (US$418 million) deal last month to continue showing Australian home Test and one-day matches as it has done for more than 30 years.

First Published: June 20, 2013, 8:16 AM IST

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